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tv   Dateline NBC  NBC  January 27, 2014 2:00am-2:59am PST

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my child is sick. she could die. she doesn't understand, and she doesn't know how she got it or why she got it and no one is doing anything to help me. >> no one should feel that hopeless, yet, it's a way of life for millions of parents. their children fighting for life in every breath. >> despite your best efforts, you couldn't protect her. >> it's your kids. it's your kids. >> yeah. >> and here is the real shocker, these kids may not have to be sick. >> listen, i'm not living like this. >> for nearly two years,
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"dateline" has been investigating the disease that sends more children to hospitals than any other chronic illness, ashma. a leading cause is poverty, a tale of two cities, the haves and have notes. three times of a chance behind you a child having ashma than here? our undercover cameras take you inside the battle. how it can be won. >> the mold is back. it's everywhere. >> and why we're losing. everybody has a breaking point. i'm lester holt and this is "dateline." tonight, breathless. >> my mommy says when i cough, i need my asthma pump. >> imagine living a life tied to a machine. imagine struggling for air as you play, walk or even sleep.
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imagine fearing that your next breath may be your last. welcome to the world of six-year-old amanda santos. >> i can't breathe. i can't breath. >> okay. all right. >> amanda is one of 7 million children in the u.s. who suffer from asthma, but there is something different about her disease. she and hundreds of others like her are more likely to develop, more likely to be hospitalized for, more likely to die of asthma than other children. ♪ i can't breathe ♪ i can't breathe >> nearly a year and a half ago as part of the nbc news in plain sight initiative that reports on poverty in america and supported by the ford foundation, i, along with a team of date lane investigative producers set to find out why those kids are more
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at risk, up close and under cover and you may be outraged by what we discovered. i certainly was. because this is a story not just about asthma, it's about how illness is made worse by neglect and incompetence where asthma rages most of all. i'm sitting in amanda's apartment in new york at the kitchen table where time and time again she's been strapped to this medical device called a nebulizer trying to ward off an asthma attack and the truth is, it should have never come to this. for an man da's mom it began on a cold day two years ago when her daughter had her first asthma attack. >> i got to the doctor and he told me, i don't want to scar you but thank god you brought your daughter because she could have died last night. >> do you remember what you felt
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when you heard asthma? >> that's something no parent wants to hear. none of my kids had asthma. >> she works for a drugstore but she and her husband jose were barely making ends meet. brownsville, a poverty neighborhood where the family resides is one of the few places in new york where they could afford an apartment large enough for their expanding family. >> no matter what happened outside. >> once i close my doors, that was it. >> it was a safe place and no one could harm you? >> exactly. >> the everyday reality of dealing with amanda's asthma is just that. now the slightest cough sends her parents into a tail spin. >> she's only six and she's sick, and she doesn't understand, and she doesn't know how she got it or why. >> amanda may not have understood why she got asthma, but she was quickly becoming a veteran in treating her own emergencies. we asked jose to document his
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daughter's struggle with the disease, so he pulled out his cell phone when a familiar sound woke him up at 2:30 a.m. >> when i come out, i hear the starts of nebulizer. she said i can't breathe. i said why didn't you call me? she said i woke you up last night and the night before and i didn't want to bother you. i just did it myself. she's six years old. she shouldn't know how to do her own medicine. >> can i show you? it's medicine that i got to put on me. i open it and then i put it to here, and then i close it, and then i put this on. and i turn it on and it makes noise. i'm scared. the first time my daddy says it's going to be all right. he says everything going to be all right. >> but things were far from all right. not for amanda.
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and not for melissa, a 12-year-old living in east harlem. her first asthma attack happened in the middle of basketball practice. >> i felt like i really couldn't breathe, like i was suffocating. i didn't know what was happening to me. i thought i was dying. >> an asthma attack causes the small airways in the lung to close, sometimes in response to an allergy, response or kper use but is thes triggers in the environment. >> feels like something is squeezing your heart. >> when you try to breathe, what happens? >> it won't let you. >> her dad was horrified. his daughter had developed a cough before the attack, but at first, he figured it was just a cold. >> it just became more persistent, she was complaining about headaches and having trouble breathing, so we became more concerned. >> javier works as a fire
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protection specialist at a local hospital. it's a good job but raising a family in new york city is expensive. the family lives paycheck to paycheck. when money is tight, javier often works a second job to pay the bills. he prides himself on being a good provider and an air force veteran that protected his country during desert storm but fighting asthma was a different experience. >> put a plastic bag over your head for 10 or 20 seconds and you know what an asthma attack feels like when someone has one, the inabilitity to breathe, the panic and fear that creates in my daughter. she has this condition for the rest of her life, and -- >> and despite your best efforts, you couldn't protect her? >> correct. and -- >> it's tough, it's your kids. >> sorry. >> it's your kids. >> yeah. >> javier and rosana were wondering why our daughters?
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the answer i was shocked to discover was right in front of their eyes in the place they thought was their safe haven. their own home. imagine the place your children live, where they eat, play, sleep, making them sicker by the day. that was the case with both melissa and amanda, frightening and when it seems no one cares, frustrating. >> at this point, i was saying to myself, my child is sick. she could die, and no one is doing anything to help me. [ julie ] i've got to credit my mom. to help me become an olympian, she was pretty much okay with me turning her home into an ice rink. ♪ she'd just reach for the bounty select-a-size. it's the smaller, powerful sheet that acts like a big sheet. look, one select-a-size sheet of bounty is 50% more absorbent than a full size sheet of the leading ordinary brand. use less, with the small but powerful picker-upper,
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you see what an attack would do, if we can get her medicine. >> javier was struggling with his daughter's asthma, a complicated disease he didn't fully understand. >> the doctor said asthma and with that said i was ignorant. >> of what many asthma experts have known for sometime, it's all about where you live. i'm standing along an invisible but important line, there is the
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east side, one of the most affluent neighborhoods in new york city and here is east harlem, one of the poorest. the two communities couldn't be closer together but that well-to do part of town has a much, much lower asthma rate. >> among children going to elementary school, it's about 7% on the upper east side and about 19% in east harlem. >> he's a renowned asthma researchers at colombia university's school of public health. so three times higher chance behind you going in that direction of a child having asthma than ever here? >> kids growing up city blocks apart from each other. >> and the problem isn't just in new york. >> it is seen in other cities. in chicago, in philadelphia. all of the major cities have these differences. ♪ i can't breathe >> why the drastic difference in asthma rates? some of it has to do with a
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combination of crime-related stress, obesity, and the close proximity to polluting of truck traffic, much more prevalent in low-income neighborhoods but one of the main differences is not what goes on outside but inside the home. >> check all that apply, leaks. >> yes. >> extreme dampness or moisture. >> yes. >> to see if anything in his home was aggravating his daughter's asthma, javier enlisted the help of lsa family health service, a nonprofit organization in east harlem that helps families deal with the disease. ray lopez is the director of lsa's environmental health and family asthma program and right away, he identified a major asthma trigger in javier's kitchen. >> roaches. i hate to admit that on tv, but again, it's a fact of life. we had a roach problem. >> that's right, this unsightly
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creature is considered one of the main triggered for children's asthma. >> look at that one right there, see it? there it goes. >> roaches, of course, are a fact of urban life but in low-income communities they are a virtual epidemic and that doesn't mean it's the fault of a tenant. javier's kitchen was clean with roach traps everywhere. >> it wasn't what was happening in your kitchen, it was what was happening in the building? >> exactly. >> lopez and his team discovered roaches weren't the significant asthma trigger in his apartment. >> wow, this i haven't seen. >> oh. >> it was mold, which covered ceiling and walls of javier's bathroom. lopez knew this was not surface mildew with humidity and
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ventilation, mold you could wipe away with clorox. >> this is a problem, this visible mold is so dark, it's already in the black stages. >> i see this over and over and, you know, i ask myself who is going to fix this? >> for people renting apartments in well to do communities, the answer is simple, their landlords but in low income neighbor hoods lopez says, landlords often allow buildings to deteriorate which makes it easier for roaches or mold to persist, no matter how hard the tenants try to fight them. >> you look at east harlem and the upper east side, i think we're basically breeding the same outdoor air. i think one of the big differences is the housing conditions, is the structural problems in many of these buildings. and the fact that landlords are slow to repair because nobody is
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forcing them to do this work. >> javier says he started calling his landlord about his mold infested bathroom a year before melissa's asthma attack but he said any repairs were super official. the mold kept coming back. >> i just said they are obviously not doing the right thing here, and i got upset, and i said to hell with this. i'm not going to pay them. they said you have to pay the rent or you'll be evicted. e said let's go to court. >> the extensive mold presence clearly violated the housing code that required landlords to e bait such a problem within 30 days. >> something about javier's struggle really got my attention. when i first heard about his problem, i assumed the nemesis was a plumbing lord. i was surprised to learn the landlord was the city of new
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york, the housing authority or nicha. the largest in north america with over 400,000 tenants. and guess what else was in nicha tenant? guess who else had a bathroom full of black mold? yes, rosana and her asthma daughter. >> it was a leak. that's how the mold started. >> amanda was exposed to that mold for a long time. >> for a long time. >> she says she immediately notified them after her daughter was diagnosed with asthma in march 2012. nicha sent several crews to inspect but did not approve a bathroom repair until eight months later. and when rosana called them in the fall of 2012 to get an actual repair date. >> he said the only available date we have is march 2014, and i'm here sitting and listening on the phone, and i'm like 2014?
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are you kidding me? >> that was almost a year and a half away. >> at this point, i was saying to myself, my child is sick. she could die, and no one is doing anything to help me. >> a lot of folks will look at this and think, why not just leave the apartment? >> yeah, but then again, where do we go? right now, we cannot afford another place to move into. >> new york city public housing is not free. most tenants are required to pay 30% of their income as rent. in fact, more than a third of the total operating budget comes from rental payments. you work full-time? >> yes. >> your husband works full-time? >> he works full-time, also. >> you're not asking for hand j outs here? >> no, i'm not. i wanted nycha to help me when i needed it. >> you had to make a lot of noise? >> i went public. >> so she went public and
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"dateline" went undercover to see if anyone would be listening. >> oh lord, you know what? you need to say to somebody. >> coming up, somebody was listening. >> i'm surprised. maybe they heard the news, word got to them that we're out there speaking up. >> but will they solve the problem? >> things got to a
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rosana was afraid the mold in her bathroom was triggering her daughter's asthma but she was captive to repair hot line that made repairs not weeks away, not months, weeks, even years. >> no one pays attention. if i was on park avenue, that wouldn't be happening. >> it wasn't something i
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expected, that the story of asthma would be another tale of haves and have notes but as i visited apartment after apartment, that was exactly the narrative i saw evolving. >> how is he doing? >> the difference between rich and poor is especially pronounced in the city's emergency rooms like here at new york presbyterian morgan stanley's hospitals where kids on nebulizers are an every day sight. poor children are up to 15 times for likely to be hospitalized for asthma than their wealthtier counter parts, that's in philadelphia, washington d.c., detroit. and after she had another asthma attack in december 2012, amanda ended up in the hospital, too. >> i'm guessing the fear of grief and down right anger.
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>> yes, that's where i said i need to go out there. i wasn't doing it for me. at this point i thought i had to do it for amanda. >> you see how it's leaking right through there. >> rosana contacted a community organizer from metro iaf a collective of grass root groups that was threatening to sue nycha based on the americans with disabilities act. >> amanda is considered disabled. so what we are asking for is for her to be accommodated in an apartment where there is no mold, where there is no moisture, you know, a place where she can be safe. >> they can't run you out because you're saying your child is sick because of a condition. >> good morning, everyone. >> good morning. >> my name is rosana -- >> ten months after amanda's diagnosis, rosana made the first public appearance of her life. >> our house should be the safest place for me and my family, not only for me but for
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everyone that lives in housing. >> i'm calling to follow up on a ticket for the mold to be removed from my apartment. >> the next day, when rosana called nycha they suddenly told her they could come to fix her bathroom in a mere five days. >> i'm surprised. maybe they heard the news. you know, word got to them that we are out there speaking up. >> is that all it took? we decided to find out for ourselves by placing a pair of hidden cameras inside the apartment. one was inside this purse hanging on a doorknob providing a really good view for what was happening inside the bathroom while everybody was inside. another gave us a wider view concealed at the end of the hall right there. it was december 24th, 2012. christmas eve, and any hope rosana might have had for the perfect christmas present evaporated the minute she saw the nycha team.
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>> it was an inspection team coming not to do repairs, only to confirm that she had mold. >> mildew, i'm just going to take a shot, you got to take hot showers, right? real hot showers? >> normal. >> so if you taking real hot showers, and you can feel condensation, which is like the steam creates some type of water on the ceiling, that's going to create this problem. >> one of the workers told me it was my fault because i was taking hot showers, and i was like, really? so what am i supposed to do, take cold showers? >> how did you bite your tongue? >> i don't even know sometimes. >> everybody has a breaking point. >> yes. and sometimes i kind of feel bad because like i would take it out on my poor husband. which it wasn't his fault.
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instead of taking it out on nycha. >> by the end of the inspection visit, the nycah worker that blamed rosana seemed to have changed his mind. if she wanted the work to get done, rosana might want to sue his employer. >> my daughter. >> so then you might want to get documentation. >> i have documentation. >> you need to make your story stronger, your case stronger if you thought about taking them to court because this situation couldn't be like this. >> you would think the housing authority would feel it is their obligation to move heaven and earth to protect the health of families, partake alreadily of children but that's not what happens. >> bill de blasio is the new mayor, part of his job to expose new york's private housing
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violators. >> if i looked at your worst landlord list, where would the new york housing authority fall? >> if we treated them the same as normal landlords, they would be number one the worst by far sbl many are as coupeble as n nycha but a u.s. census burro found public housing apartments had almost four times as many roach infestations and four times as many leaks as private rental apartments, and de blasio discovered by the end of 2012 nycha had a backlog of 18,000 standing repairs directly connected to the asthma triggers. >> this is the fifth time that someone comes in, looks at it, they say how disgusting and how nasty the bathroom is and nobody is doing nothing about it. he tells me he understands, he
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understands, they understand and they know what i'm going through and how frustrating it is, they would do something about it. but all i get is i understand. >> nycha was about to send another crew to rosana's home, hard to believe they would make an already bad situation even worse. coming up, some welcome advice from an unlikely and unexpected source. >> go in there and say i'm not living like this. fix my house. [ female announcer ] crest presents:
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[ female announcer ] secret clinical strength. . january 2013, three months after javier's daughter had that first asthma attack on the basketball court, an attack he blamed on the mold in his bathroom. >> at this point, it was war. you just caused harm to my family and to my daughter. >> when nycha took him to court for with holding rent, he counter sued. >> i'm asking the judge to
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literally give me a total baitment of all rents due which is about $21,000. >> today a small victory, the housing court ruled the case couldn't go to trial until nycha removed the mold in javier's bathroom. >> i go home and report to my wife that we live to see another day. >> javier agreed to let "dateline" undercover cameras capture nycha repair visits. >> our job is just to clean the mold and paint. >> right. >> and clean the vent, whatever we can do. >> you want to clean the apartment where it's not going to return? i can't guarantee that. >> apparently finding out exactly what was causing the mold and fissioning that seemed to be beyond this nycha's job description. javier said even though the workers told him the mold could
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return, in court the housing authority claimed they removed it permanently. javier set out to prove it wasn't so. >> we have moisture back there. >> 280, 300. >> on advice of the asthma experts he had been consulting with, he invited bill southern, mold removal specialist to check moisture readings in the bathroom. >> max. >> southern was convinced the mold would return. >> max. it's just a matter of time. >> then hoping to show a trial that his was not an isolated case, javier turned asthma detective. he decided to investigate what is going on in the apartments above him and below him, well, you don't have to be sherlock holms to guess what he found. wow. this was as bad if not worse than mine. now this is a problem in 11 b
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which is right above me. >> and an apartment four floors below avenw javier the same sto >> you can see the mold. this is consistent. the mold. you see the roaches. i have the same issue with roaches. they are coming out the vents. >> there are 748 apartments in javier's building. "dateline" found in 2012 the number of repair requests for problems that could cause or exacerbate asthma was 788. javier once thought his daughter was the only one in the building with asthma, not anymore. >> do you have a child with asthma? >> my daughter. >> do you know mold is considered an asthma trigger? >> no. >> armed with photo evidence, javier was prepared for his day in court. but while he was hopeful the housing court judge would rule
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in his favor, across town in brownsville, rosanna was losing hope nycha would make her bathroom asthma safe. >> i got paperwork from my daughter's doctor she is real sick because of this condition in my bathroom. >> finally her persistence seemed to pay off. a mold removal technician showed up but quickly realized what had to be fixed before anything else was the leak in the ceiling that was causing the mold. his supervisor suggested a band aid solution, instead. >> why don't we do this -- scrape it, all right, and scrape this little bit down gently and let's just hit this real quick, i'll get some paint, we'll hit this up so at least it looks descent. >> breathing mask on, the worker sprayed bleach on the ceiling and walls. the door was often wide open. the chemical spell was so strong rosanna feared it could trigger
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one of amanda's asthma attacks. on a hidden camera a "dateline" producer approached the worker while he was waiting for the paint to arrive. >> i don't know why they say this is a hot job. >> what does that mean. >> a complaint. i don't know, some people complaining about the mold. >> oh, yeah. >> this hot job soon turned into a no job. >> we're just going to leave it. >> okay. >> they got to fix that leak anyway. >> so they left me with a stinky bathroom and a mess. they just came and did it so they could, let's do something so she could shut up and not continue calling and bothering. >> two weeks later amanda had to go to the emergency room again. she missed another day of school, the 11th day she had been absent this year already. >> my teacher complains that i have this absent a lot, and my
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mom explained that i have asthma, and then when i go back to school, there's a lot of homework in my desk because i miss it. >> studies have shown that if elementary schools miss more than 18 days a year, they were more likely to drop out of school later on, but it wasn't only amanda who was falling behind. nationwide, adults affected by asthma miss 14 working days a year. rosanna couldn't afford to miss even one. after yet another phone call, nycha notified her it was sending another crew so she worked a double shift in order to be there. >> i work monday 9:00 to 5:00 came home and cooked for my kids and went back to work from 10:00 to 8:00 in the morning today and here i am. exhausted, tired. >> you guys are? >> we're here to take care of
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the mold and the mildew. >> it was january 15th, 11 months since rosanna turned to nycha turned to repairs after amanda's asthma diagnosis. >> your whole ceiling came down. the last time they painted, it all came down. it was wet. >> listen to this, clearly this nycha crew encountered cases like this before and they were on her side. >> you have to get them out here for the leak, the plaster and the paint and if they give you a date for 2015, tell them it's not good enough. she knows. these guys are telling her 2014 already. >> really? so you've been living nasty? go in there and say listen, i'm not living like this. it has to get fixed. i pay my rent on time. i work hard, my kids are sick, whatever you got to tell them. this is unacceptable. fix my house.
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>> the mold appeared gone, at least to the naked eye, but rosanna knew if the leak in her ceiling was not fixed, it would come back in no time, unfortunately, none of this was new to these guys. >> and this other side, too. coming up. >> it's just crazy. >> rosanna was right, the problem keeps coming back, just like asthma itself. >> that is very heart breaking for me because i know what asthma is. i know what the mom went through, and now i have her child. when "dateline" continues. i need proof of insurance. that's my geico digital insurance id card - gots all my pertinents on it and such. works for me. turn to the camera. ah, actually i think my eyes might ha... next! digital insurance id cards. just a tap away on the geico app.
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we've shown you the faces of kids on nebulizers but this can be the face of asthma, too, a family grieving at a child's grave site, asthma we forget too often can kill and while lose anna and javier were battling the housing authority, another baby was diagnosed with the disease, this time in the south bronx, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the u.s.
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dr. mohammed as been treating asthma patients for 27 years. she is now caring for the children of her original patients. >> that is very hard breaking for me because i know what asthma is. i know when the mom went through, and now i have her child who may end up going through the same uncontrolled asthma as the mom. >> you know, once she starts the cough, once she has the symptoms, she's in the yellow zone. >> herman weapon is education. >> i think what will make a difference is having the patients understand their illness. so we show them how to manage their own asthma. that empowers the patient. >> there has been some progress, better drugs, diagnoses tools and both city and community group interventions have decreased the child asthma rate in poor inner city communities around the country, including those in new york.
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most of urban house patients are symptom free for three weeks out of every month, a significant improvement from over a decade ago. but when we followed the doctors new's asthma patient back to the rental apartment, this one owned by a private landlord, we encountered the biggest roach infestation we had seen. >> we would write letters to the landlords asking them to do pest intervention and also to do mold removal. we try, we can write letters, but those letters don't do much. i mean, you do feel extremely powerless because they are those patients that keep on living with the mold and the roaches and keep on coming back. ♪ i can't breathe >> the federal government is the housing authority's main funding source so nycha blames funding for the poor state of public
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housing. in fact, over the last decade it's lost almost a billion dollars in irreplaceable subsides. bill de blasio. >> in recent year, new york turned it's back on the country. >> does that offer slack in the housing authority off the hook? >> you can't say because the federal government isn't doing the right thing, therefore we're not responsible for our people. if there is a repair that involves health and safety, that goes to the top of the list and has to be done quickly. we know the resources are there to achieve that much. >> would you like to live in a mold-infested apartment in public housing? >> in her quest to force nycha to repair her bathroom, she continued to speak up. here at a forum. >> my six-year-old daughter amanda has asthma. there are thousands apartments like mine with thousands of children getting sicker and sicker. march 2013 marched the one-year
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anniversary of amanda's asthma diagnos diagnosis. it was two months since the crew removed the surface mold but despite numerous phone calls, no one returned to fix the ceiling leak. >> this morning i had to sweep the entire bathroom because the plaster and paint is starting to peel off again, and as you can see, the wall is already starting to stain. it's just crazy. >> and then surprise, a nycha plumber knocked on the door, ordeal over? amanda finally safe? no, not quite yet. >> now he told me, okay, we change the pipe. the leaking pipe, now you got to wait for the plaster to come back another time. >> rosanna decided to go on the offensive again, maybe going to the media would put some pressure on nycha. she was in for a big surprise. coming up, i invite nycha to
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sit down and talk. >> we wanted to give someone at the agency the opportunity to see what we uncovered. >> and finally, one small victory in the world of asthma. >> i don't cough anymore. it got better.
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i'm back in javier's apartment, now eight months after the nycha workers were here and claimed they removed the mold. javier suspected it would be a temporary fix and they can see the mold. it's back and boy, it is everywhere. in november, a housing court judge once again ordered nycha to fix javier's mold problem. >> they actually found water damage. >> and this time nycha crews
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spent several days in javier's apartment. he was hoping that meant this would be more than just a band-aid fix and just a few weeks ago after three years of litigation, the new york housing court sided with javier and ruled he had to pay nycha only 0 20% of the $30,000 in rent he had so far with held. >> i'm proud that i've endured three years on my own holding them off. they are scary at times. i really felt they would be able to just ignore me. but i believe i stand on the side of truth and for the sake of my family's health and my daughter, that gave me the courage. >> we wanted to give you the opportunity or someone at the agency to see what we uncovered. >> we repeatedly ask the them to respond on camera to the issues raised on the broadcast.
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>> we have people calling to have serious leaks and mold conditions repaired who are being -- having to wait over a year for something. >> nycha declined. >> that would be a no. >> in a statement e-mailed to "dateline", nycha said it made significant progress in fixing leaks that can contribute to mold conditions, hired more than 100 additional pest ex terminators and trained employees in asthma reduction techniques and created initiatives to educate families. for little amanda, it took several years for the leak to be fixed and mold to be removed, but now she was facing several more months of waiting before nycha would plaster the gaping hole in her ceiling, not to mention repaint the bathroom. so her mother went to the media again, this time the daily news which published an article about her fight against nycha.
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maybe then it was no coincidence when rose san that got a call from the housing authority. >> we wanted to make an appoi appointment with you because we're now going to go and fix your bathroom. >> it was march 29th, 2013, almost 13 months since amanda's asthma diagnosis. >> i was like okay. let me not get my hopes up. finally that day they went and it was a special team. they knocked down the walls, which i was surprised because never before they done anything like that. they took the cabinets down, they took everything down, even the bathtub and i was like wow, it's finally happening. you know, after so many months and all these years, you know, finally they are getting to the bottom of the problem. >> hallelujah. >> hallelujah. i never thought it would happen to me, but it did. so i'm hoping and crossing my fingers that we're not going to
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have this problem anymore. >> amanda says she noticed a difference in her asthma since the bathroom was fixed. >> i don't cough any more. i don't throw up. it got better. >> and more good news, in december, community groups announced they won a battle, that lawsuit rosanna and others threatened led nycha agree to far-reaching changes regarding mold and moisture removal policy. in it, the agency acre knowledges for the first time eliminating any moisture source including leaks caused by broken pipes, would be the best way to address mold problems. the policy states that mold repairs like rosanna's and javier's must be made within 15 days of a complaint, and it requires nycha to submit proof to a federal court it is actually enforcing its new guidelines. >> i hope that this is the beginning of a new day in nycha that basic repairs made in a
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timely manner and apartments can be a descent place to live. >> think of the people living in not only public housing but living under bad landlords who are dealing with mold and asthma. are you hoping that you can become a voice for them, as well? >> actually, that's what i'm doing now. let the people know they are not alone, that if we get together and become a group and support each other, we can -- you know, we can get the help we need. >> in the end rosanna says there was no more mold in her bathroom, but there was amanda, a constant reminder of the life-long challenge it left behind. >> you know, my child is -- she's sick. that's something that i have to deal with, and amanda has to deal with it, and, you know, finally i got what i got from my bathroom but then again, i have my daughter who has asthma. who is going to fix that? >> that's all for now, i'm
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lester holt, thanks for joining us. from nbc news in washington, the world's longest running television program, this is "meet the press" with david gregory. >> and good sunday morning. big week coming up here in washington. one of those moment where is the president has a huge audience and a chance to speak directly to that audience with his state of the union address. my big question through all of this is how much political clout does he actually have left. the outspoken republican senator rand paul is here this morning. he'll talk to me about it. speaking of republican politics, a lot of discomfort this week about some comments made by former presidential candidate mike huckabee over what he described as hiswomen. we'll talk about it. there's a new provocative "new york times" magazine article out this morning asking whether

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